OK, I'm game - I'll dive in.
I've been reading some of the recent threads with great interest, not only in the topics being discussed, but at how much people get their ire up over something that someone they never even met said.
I am on the "right" (not correct, but more conservative) side of GD, because I do believe that I am, in the end, the one who will pull the trump card if something is going on with my DS that I'm not comfortable with. It's the way I was raised, and it's the way I will raise my son. Period.
I have no deep-seeded issues related to resenting my parents for sometimes trumping me, invading my personal space, forcing me to do things, coercing me into sitting in my car seat, disrespecting me, or controlling me. Yet, with no question, they were "in charge" if it came down to it. It was not a complete democracy - I had a voice and an opinion that was considered, but they were the "captains" and had the final say....they DID listen to my opinions and incorporated them when possible.
I have no issues with feeling inavlidated or unimportant because I was not always accommodated; as an adult, I don't feel a sense of injustice if my needs aren't always considered equal to others, and I'm fine with compromising...that's just the way life is sometimes, and it doesn't give me a sense of sadness or dread to think of it that way...
SOOOOOOOOOOO.....someone who disagrees with the way I'm parenting by saying I'm controlling my child and not treating them as an equal, OK, whatever. That's their opinion. They could call me non-GD if they want, but I disagree - and in the end, for my family, that's all that matters.
What I *HAVE* gotten out of this forum is some GREAT ideas on how to implement the philosophies I already have, giving me techniques and tips on how to avoid power struggles, how to redirect and accomodate, how to rethink whether things are important or not - but the forum has never made me question that in my family, I am the captain of the ship. I firmly believe in a family someone needs to steer the ship, and in my family, it's me. I am NOT dogmatic, infallible, or unyielding...I am human. But, in the end, I am responsible for my children's physical, emotional, mental, and social well being, not the other way around.
Everyone has an opinion, everyone is entitled to one. However, there is something to be said for a certain amount of decorum and tact if you're trying to reach someone or persuade them to think of alternative solutions to issues. My mom always said "you catch more flies with honey", and I have found this to be true my entire life. It is NOT about NOT saying what you feel - it's about HOW you say it - and while you are not responsible for other people's feelings, I find it hard to believe that some people who represent themselves as trying to be mutually respectful and accomodating to their children have a hard time extending that same courtesy to adults who are looking for advice and discussions. I also find it hard to believe that in their interactions with their children, they would take the same tones or phrasings with them.
I remember the statement, "GD to me is treating my child the way I would like to be treated." floating around the boards some time ago.
To me, LIFE is treating others the way I would want to be treated, not just my children, but *everyone* - mu DH, my family, my friends, complete strangers...and I find it hard to believe sometimes that people would want to hear statements from others using the same tone they use themselves.
I fear I have been fairly off topic, so I'll try to actually answer the OP: To me, the GD forum is place to exchange ideas and share solutions to problems, to discuss the broad range of ideals that are within the spectrum of GD, and to be able to do so with at least the same amount of respect and courtesy that we would afford to our children.